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De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 8 Riversdale B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“trying hard”
Reviewed March 13, 2012

This is the best accomodation in this small Afrikaner village well positioned on the N2 midway between Cape Town and the Garden route.It is converted from old farm buildings so the rooms have high cool ceilings.

We had a large clean room with two good beds,a bit short on cupboard space but with a flat screen TV.The en suite bathroom was again large and modern with a separate walk in shower.All spotless.

There was a pleasant shady garden and small swimming pool but with some bird droppings on the loungers.

The hotel has a restaurant within the property walls which serves perfectly reasonable food with some really interesting dishes. Food is certainly taken seriously here as the manager is also the chef.

Excellent cooked breakfast served on the patio.

No air conditioning and little apparent security. But maybe in Riversdale you dont need them.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank roger39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
I wish to thank you so much for the time you took to review us. It is balanced and fair reviews such as this that provide the incentive to improve on what we are doing here. My apologies that their were bird dropping on the pool loungers - this I have corrected as part of our twice daily checklist for our ground staff. Just as well as I am busy with the first stages of a berry and scent garden near to the pool and this is only going to attract more and more birds. Again - Thank You !!
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328 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2012

We booked De Doornkraal based solely on the Tripadvisor reviews and were certainly not disappointed.

We travelled with our 10 month old son and needed to break our journey from Cape Town to Knysna. We decided to stay for 2 nights so we could relax a little after the long flight from London. I was so pleased that we did. The Garden Cottage is lovely and private and just across the road from the main guest house. The gardens are beautiful, full of vines, fruit trees and vegetable patches whose produce is used in much of chef Peppas wonderful cooking.

A review of this guest house would not be complete without mentioning the staff. They are all fantastic. This is 100% down to the wonderful management of Christopher Peppas (manager and head chef). He treats his staff with respect and humanity and believes in training them well. Christopher is a superb host and couldn't do more to help us. I can only second every comment already written about him. He has put his heart and soul into creating a wonderful all round experience and is certainly succeeding........ his food is pretty darn good too!

One last thing, our son was very taken with Christopher and his silly games. It was so refreshing to have our baby welcomed so openly and encouraged to explore and play rather than being hushed into a corner.

We hope to come back to South Africa in the next few years and we will certainly be popping in again and of course, recommending this guest house to anyone heading for the Garden Route.

A real gem!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Garden Cottage, great for privacy or if you are travelling with a baby or small chi...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank CLIGHT1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
I am gladdened that you found my approach to your little one so refreshing, the thing is I feel that he needed to be treated as a guest - like anybody else. I would be absolutely thrilled should you pop in again - albeit in a couple of years. I have committed myself to being here long term.
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London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2012

My friend and I stayed at De Doornkraal in January, as our final stopover on a 6 day drive from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. I can honestly say that the welcome and subsequent service we received from the staff, in particular Chef Peppas, is the friendliest & highest standard I have ever received in any grade of hotel worldwide. Christopher just cannot do enough to help you, from printing google maps for our onward journey to removing a spider from our bathroom (it was tiny, but we're English so to us it was huge!).
We experienced the best food of our three week holiday in the restaurant, including the eggs benedict as recommended by kmwBournemouth (fellow reviewer), which Christopher whipped up for us before the restaurant officially opened in the morning so we could make our early start to Cape Town.
De Doornkraal itself is a lovely peaceful hotel, and the rooms were extremely comfortable. We were only staying one night and to be quite honest I am pleased that we didn't head into Riversdale for the evening as we would have missed out on the fabulous food and company that we experienced in the restaurant.
I hope to return to South Africa again, and if I should find myself in the area I would definitely be staying at De Doornkraal again. At worst, I will be recommending it to anyone I know who is making plans to visit SA.
One final message to Christopher....COOL BANANAS!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Claire S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 6, 2012
Cool Bananas !!! Straight back at you. Thank you so much for taking the time to mention us. It was a pleasure to attend to your needs, most notably, the spider (we all had a good giggle), keep in mind that in Africa things like bugs seem to be especially bigger than in most parts of the world. Since we operate within an environmentally friendly policy we do not use insecticides etc. so Sally the spider was given a comfortable new abode. Keep Shining !!!
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Scotland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2012

Recently returned from holiday in South Africa and we stayed at De Doornkraal after reading the reviews on Trip Advisor - thought it couldn't be as good as what we read, but in reality it was, if not even better and if we had had the choice we would have stayed longer, but our timetable did not allow this! The manager/chef Christopher Peppas is everything that you read. His food is worth a trip even if you don't stay, although you would be missing out on great accommodation. We were the only guests in residence on the night we stayed and this only added to our experience and we were made to feel very special. We had a personal tour of the winery and were given a gift of a bottle of the Divine Blush, which we thoroughly enjoyed on Valentine's Day back in Edinburgh. If we lived in South Africa we would be visiting the hotel on a regular basis for long weekends, but it is a bit too far for us to travel, although we will make sure that on our next trip to SA we will fit in more than a night's stay at this location. Would just like to add that although the attention from Christopher is fantastic, all his staff deserve to be mentioned, as nothing was too much trouble and to see them all enjoying their work and being appreciated can be a rare occurrence these days.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank happytraveller04028
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 2, 2012
Thank you so much on behalf of the team. Your kind mentioning of them will be passed on - there is still so much work to do and skills yet to develop here in Riversdale - I am excited to be a part thereof.
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Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed February 15, 2012

We decided to spend a night somewhere on our way to the Old Motor Show in George and by chance chose De Doornkraal. It looked good on the internet but not as great as the real thing. Our first experience of De Doornkraal was the fabulous friendly reception from Christopher Peppas who couldn't do enough for us. The decor in our well appointed room was tasteful and tranquil, just what we needed after a hectic week. We had a little wander around before dinner and were very impressed with the neat appearance and the obvious efforts to beautify the town as compared to many other platteland towns. And then, the wonderful dining experience prepared by our super host/chef. Coming from franschhoek, we are spoilt for choice but our food and the service were superb, as was breakfast the next morning. Christopher Peppas' attention to his clients is phenominal and we had an extremely pleasant experience which we hope to repeat in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Bev M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 2, 2012
I hope that we will see you again, when next you pass through. I have launched my new menu that will run for the rest of 2012, updating its format so that it's presentation is far more elegant.. Please feel free to have a look at it on our website. I appreciate your kind words and would like to assure you that we will continue to improve our offering day to day - month to month and year to year. No resting on our laurels.
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Cape Town
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Travelling from Cape Town to Riversdale on a Friday afternoon, we were greeted to unuasual miserable and rainy weather. Upon arrival at the reception of De Doornkraal, we were greeted by an extremely warm and friendly reception. We were treated with the utmost respect and gratitude, the kind that makes you feel like a friend, and not just a guest that is occupying a room.
The Doornkraal has an old world charm, like the town Riversdale itself, rich in history.
Every facet of the De Doornkraal is unique. If you enjoy great food and wine and a comfortable staying experience in the country side - than this is the ONLY destination to put in your GPS!
Words can unfortunetely not describe the experience, you need to book in for yourself and experience the hospitality and friendlyness.

The chef, Christoper, makes your meal an experience. No two meals are ever the same. Try to stay enough nights to experience the entire menu :)
What ever you do, accompany your meals with De Doornkraal's award-winning Syrah Blanc de Noir wine named "Aan't Vette" Syrah Blanc de Noir 1st Divine Blush 2011.
"This was crowned with a bronze medal at the 2011 South African Young Wine Show that is presented annually by the South African National Wine Show Association. This is a remarkable achievement since the 2011 harvest is De Doornkraal Wine Estate's first vintage."

Thank you to all at De Doornkraal for an unforgettable experience. Hope to see you all soon.
Best wishes with the harvest time ahead. May 2012 be a productive award winning year!

Room Tip: The Garden Cottage
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Natassja N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 2, 2012
Hi there !! Thank you so much for your many a kind word. I should let you know that we harvested the first batch of grapes out of the vineyard last week ..... it's looking good. We have approached the feeding and watering this year with a better scientific approach (with some practical efforts like protecting the grapes from the birds. Perhaps we can improve on the bronze medal that we received on our first attempt - last year. We all hope to see you again soonest.
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bournemouth
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2012

Running late on a trip to George so turned off to Riversdale where we found De Doornkraal.A boutique hotel that we found exceptionaly charming.To add to this we were welcomed by Manager/Chef Christopher Peppas,a very charming and enthusiastic host.The food was .sublime- the best of our trip. I must mention particularly the steaks,but also the best eggs benedict I have had at any breakfast table worldwide.The experience was so good that after one night we turned around and came back to stay another 2 nights.Many thanks to my favourite chef and his lovely staff -just wish we could have stayed longer.So relaxing.

Room Tip: 1 and 9 are larger or the cottages for more privacy.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank kmwBournemouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, January 27, 2012
It was an honor to meet and serve you, thank you for your kind words.

I must especially thank you for including my team in the compliments; without them I and De Doornkraal would be that much poorer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel

Property: De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel
Address: 8 Long Street, Riversdale 6670, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Riversdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Riversdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience charming countryside hospitality in South Africa - We are committed to providing service excellence and ensuring that our guests feel that they are at home whilst away from home. Our good-natured team are proud that De Doornkraal has been recognized as the best four star Country House in South Africa, as well as the best in our province two years running at the prestigious Lilizela Tourism Awards – 2014 and 2015. In addition we also are proud recipients of The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013, 2014,2015 and 2016. ... more   less 
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